[Day 5] Sexuality
Two years ago rageprufrock began the first 14 Valentines and she spoke of how women are praised in song, worshiped in poetry, and derided in culture. She spoke beautifully and elegantly of women, comparing our bodies to luminous flowers. She spoke of the state of women, and the need to remember what we go through, what women throughout the world suffer through.
We are daughters, sisters, mothers, and lovers. If we choose, we can bring life into world with our blood and nourish it with our bodies, but the world that we helped create, that women have bled for and fought for and cried for, doesn't recognize us. Our history is one of abuse. We are not safe.
Women suffer from domestic violence and rape. We are devalued. We are taught that we are lesser. There is still so much work to do, so much for us to accomplish.
It's 2008 and Hillary Rodham Clinton is, as I write this, campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination in the U.S. Yet, even as this is happening, women are being killed the world over, suffering from infanticide, dying from lack of medical care, killing themselves in the fight to be what society tells them they must. One in three women will still experience sexual assault in her lifetime. So much has changed and so much has stayed the same.
It's 2008 and we've come so far, but there is still more work to be done. We deserve better, and we can do more. We're strong. The next fourteen days is meant to remind us of that. It's our time to take back our bodies.
V can stand for vagina, like Eve Ensler's groundbreaking monologues. V can stand for violence, under whose auspices all women continue to make a home.
V can also stand for victory.
The facts tell us that only five countries in the world have legalized gay marriage, that lesbian teens are more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual counterparts due to lack of parental and church support as well as the rejection of their peers. Religion and society tell us again and again that homosexuality is wrong, is a sin, is against nature. And still, this is an improvement over the past.
Things aren't perfect but changes have been made; there has been progress.
There are more openly homosexual people in office than ever before, and while there are only five countries that have legalized gay marriage, that's five more than there was a decade ago.
There has been progress in the minds of many over the last few decades, and GLAAD or the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has worked hard to bring about that change. GLAAD works to bring positive images of homosexuality into the media as well as fighting against the negative, biased, and incorrect information that is perpetuated by various groups. This not only works to open people's minds, but it also gives queer people positive images to identify with.